Category Archives for "Ultimate Frisbee Dynamic Warm Up: Prevent Injuries and Improve Performance"

Injury Prevention and Performance Tips for Ultimate Frisbee – by Vancouver and Burnaby Physiotherapist

Hey, my name is Patrizio, I’m a Physiotherapist at INSYNC PHYSIO, both at our Cambie and Burnaby locations. I’m here onsite doing Physio coverage for The BC Place Ultimate Frisbee tournament.

Today we are helping out a lot with Sports Injuries and Doing some First Responder work. We see a lot of injuries at these types of events. So what I want to talk to you about is also some injury prevention. It’s good to warm up to get some circulation going, get the muscles ready for activity and to also to cool down with some stretching as well.

So one of the big stretches we like to encourage is the rectus femurs stretch and the hip flexor stretch, as well as the piriformis stretch. And then doing some core work is always a good idea in between games like doing a lateral lunge to step up as well as the “Dead Bug pose” as well. And that should keep you going. Alright, Thank you! 

Rectus Femoris Stretch
Prepare a nice cushion for your left knee to be on and a step stool to place the top of the foot on to have greater knee flexion. This will isolate the muscle stretch. Keep your posture nice and tall and imagine there’s a string pulling your whole spine upwards from your pelvis, right up your entire back and neck and up to the top of your head.

Then engage your inner core muscles tight below your belly button and keep your low back flat and contract your left butt muscles. Next, bend the right knee forward and keep your posture nice and tall without leaning backwards. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times for each side.

Hip Flexor Stretch
Kneel down onto your left knee. Then rotate it about 45 degrees past the midline of your body. To keep your posture nice and tall imagine there’s a string pulling your whole spine upwards from your pelvis, right up your entire back and neck and up to the top of your head.

Then engage your inner core muscles tight below your belly button and keep your low back flat. Next, bend the right knee forward and keep your posture nice and tall without leaning backwards. Then reach your left arm up pointing the fingers towards the ceiling nice and high and point your right finger tips to the floor. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times for each side.

Piriformis Muscle Stretch
Lie down on the ground with your right foot on the corner of a wall or door frame to stretch out the left piriform muscle. Start with your right knee at 90 degrees.

If you are really tight at the beginning then increase the angle of that right knee by moving further away from the wall or door frame. Cross your left ankle across your right knee and ensure that your buttock remain touching the ground firmly and your hips staying square to your body.​

Stabilize your right ankle with your right hand and extend that ankle into dorsiflexion upwards. Then push your left knee towards your other foot while you keep your inner core engaged and your pelvis nice and stable. Hold this for 30 seconds, doing 3 sets on the affected side daily. 

Side Step Lunge: One Arm Presses
Hold onto a 5 pound dumbbell with your right hand. Engage your inner core muscles and keep your posture in neutral. Do a side step lunge with your left foot to the left side and keep your knee pointing forward and over your ankle while you bring the dumbbell down towards that left foot.

Push back up through your left foot and bring your body weight over your right knee. As you flex your left hip, perform a 1-arm shoulder press with the right arm. Make sure your knee stays in alignment with your second toe, and over your ankle as you perform this exercise. Do 10 reps, 3 sets on each side. This exercise can help with progressive strengthening and rehab of your injured knee. It can help you become functionally stronger in jumping for Ultimate Frisbee like in skying the disc in those moments when you feel like you need a dynamically stronger core.

Core Strengthening: The Dead Bug
Hi everybody, just Simon here again. Just going to give you a simple core exercise to do just to strengthen the core. Core is very important like I said before because it creates a stable base just to power into the lower limbs. 

So the start position for this is if you just lie on your back, sort of hips and knees at ninety degrees, and arms up like I am here now, and then you're going to extend out your bottom left leg and extend out your right arm, nice nice straight and steady. Then you're going to come back to the start position. Then you're going to do the same on your right leg, extend out right leg and extend back your left arm. Perfect! 

Then you’re going to do 10 reps of each for three sets if you can.

Ultimate Frisbee Dynamic Warm Up: How To Prevent Injuries & Perform Better!

Hey, I’m Claire McDonald, I’m from INSYNC PHYSIO. We’re here today to shoot a dynamic warm up for Ultimate Frisbee. We’re doing this because it’s going to help loosen up our muscles, get our muscles activated before we play. It’s also going to help prevent injuries as well. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes to do; So We’ll get started! Ok, so we’re going to get into starting the warm up. When you first start out, you want to run for about 5 to 10 minutes… so a few laps around the field, depending on the temperature and how you’re feeling. But then as you get into these exercises you’re going to do each one about 20 yards or so back and forth of half the width of the field. So we’re going to get into our dynamic warm up. The first exercise we are going to do is going to be a “Side step” with a nice big arm swing out to the side making sure you get a big full arm extension. You guys ready to go? Alright, So the second exercise we are going to do we are going to do a “Skip with a nice big arm swing” forward. So let’s do that one. Ok, so the next exercise we are going to do is a “Carioca patterning”. So we’ll go one way on the way out and the other way on the way back. Alright, the next exercise we are going to do is going to be a “High Knees”. So making sure your core is engaged… Nice high knees up to your chest! Alright, so the next one we’re going to is a “Butt kick”. So with this one again you want to make sure your core is engaged, nice tall posture kicking right up towards your butt ok. Ok, the next exercise we are going to do is a “Toe touch”, which is really going to get our hamstrings going. So with this one as well you want to make sure you’re balancing nice and well and controlling the motion. So ready? Alright, so the next one we are going to do is a “Toe touch as we do a little bit of hop forwards”; so a little bit of a momentum going forwards. So opposite arm touching opposite foot. The next one we are going to do is a “Lunge with a bit of a Spinal Twist.” So with this one when you come down into a lunge you want to make sure your knee is nice and strong and is not transferring over into the inside of your knee and staying right over top of your toes. Alright. Ok. So the next one we are going to do is a “Hurdler” motion. So on the way there we’re going to go backwards and on the way here we’re going to come forwards and rotate inwards Ok…Ok, we’re going to go inwards. Next we’re going to do like a “Knee Hug” just to warm up our hips to get them stretched out. And the next one we’re going to do is a sort of “Sky The Disc”. So you’re going to come up with whatever arm you want to jump with… with the same knee coming up towards you so that way you can get a little higher with it. Good Stuff! Alright, so this part of our warm up is getting the arms nice and warmed up. So first we’re going to start with some “Arm circles” going forwards. And we’re going to do each of these exercises for about 15 to 20 seconds. And then we are going to do backwards. The next one we’re going to do is just an opposite arms straight forwards and backwards. Ok. So we’re going to get into a bit of a sideways lunge, and then we’re going to pretend were throwing the disc each way. So we’ll start going this way… and then lunge, and then we’ll go this way. Alright. Now we’re going to get into a bit of a spinal twist here. And you can kind of get the hips going a little bit so the motion comes all the way from your feet. Just get the back warmed up. Alright. Lastly to get the blood pumping we’re going to do some jumping jacks. The next one we’re going to do is bring our elbows up and shoulders at about 90 degrees, one arm’s going to go backwards and one is going to come down. And you’re going to quickly go like that, keeping the shoulders nice and square. Get the rotator cuff nice and warmed up. Good. And the last one we’re going to do for our arm warm up is “Wringing out the Towel” Opposite arms going forward and backwards. Alright good.

Ultimate Frisbee Activation: How to Warm up for Ultimate Frisbee

How can we get a huge benefit from a few minutes of warm-up?


by Vancouver Physiotherapist Travis Dodds

How to Warm up for Ultimate Frisbee
Warming up

Warming up for sport has changed dramatically in the past couple of decades. Spurred on by ground-breaking programs such as FIFA 11+ in soccer, and the FMS study in NFL football, athlete health professionals are beginning to focus more on how to prevent injury, improve functional movement and fuel long term performance.

Ultimate is characterized by a very wide distribution of injuries. They may be acute/traumatic due to collision with the ground, other athletes, or even the disc. Even more injuries are chronic due to the imbalances inherent to the sport such as pivoting from a dominant leg/throwing arm, not to mention the sheer volume of running, jumping and cutting at high speed!
Functional movement refers to an individual’s capacity for complex, full-body movements, such as a squat, toe touch, back bend, full body rotation or single leg balance. When these fundamental movements are in great condition, we can develop skill, strength and speed and strive for peak performance. The problem is, repetitive activities and sustained postures tend to lead us to develop imbalances that can impair our fundamental movements. From this moment on, our capacity for truly reaching full physical potential will be limited.
With that said, we set out to answer the question –
“What is the best way to warm up for ultimate frisbee!?”
The answer – well it depends what you’re trying to achieve. If all you want to do is increase your heart rate, then run around in a big circle and throw the disc a few times. Boom, done! Ok but that’s not what we’re here for.

This warm-up is designed with three purposes in mind:

1) To help prevent injuries by developing mobility, stability, balance and strength for the whole body. Especially the core, hips, shoulder girdle, anterior chain, posterior chain, hamstring, knee, calf, foot and ankle (let’s stick with the whole body).
2) To help athletes improve their capacity for functional movement. Move better. Improve range of movement, quality of movement, and maintain it for life.
3) To activate or warm up key muscle groups and movement patterns that will enhance on-field performance. Fundamental athletic movement patterns that don’t receive enough training are especially the squat and deadlift, which are featured prominently.

If you haven’t tried it yet, here it is!

Ok cool. Now, how should I sequence my warm-up?


Prior to this activation sequence…

Athletes should complete any individualized rehab or prehab exercises, and spend a bit of time rolling or releasing tight muscles in areas that affect their movement. In an ideal world, athletes might access physiotherapy for an annual head-to-toe assessment that would identify and systematically correct their specific limitations. Perhaps the most widely known method for such an assessment is the SFMA (Selective Functional Movement Screen), so if you’re interested in that I would suggest finding a practitioner who has taken the time to study it and routinely incorporates it into their clinical practice.
Just before the activation sequence, the coach or captain might say a couple words and also suggest a “functional movement challenge of the day”
The challenge could be any particular movement, balance position or low-impact skill that you can evaluate for quality and a clear definition of functional or dysfunctional (pass/fail). For example, stand with one foot off the ground, arms crossed to touch the opposite shoulder, and close your eyes for 10 seconds without altering your posture.

How to perform the activation sequence…

Quality of movement is the most important thing here. Go at a pace you can control. Oh, and one thing I love about this sequence, you can vary the number of reps so if you need to get ready quickly, 2-3 reps will be done in 3-5 minutes. 5 reps will take about 10 minutes, and if you’re planning for a light practice with an increased fitness and recovery emphasis, try 10 reps or go through the sequence twice.

When to do the activation sequence…

This activation sequence is ideal prior to on-field training and competition, as well as strength and conditioning workouts. It can also be a nice recovery stretch on days when you’re not training, to help you continue to break down imbalances and improve your capacity for functional movement.

What to do after activation…

For on-field training and competition, it should be followed by field dynamics that emphasize fast footwork and progress to explosive sprinting and jumping. Fast dynamics include high knees, butt-kicks, shuffle step, carioca, sprint starts, backpedals. Jumping can include various styles of jumps such as single leg stick landings and broad jumps. I like to challenge athletes to land four of five single leg stick landings, and to compete to see who can jump the furthest with three broad jumps.
Once you’re done with this, you can begin your skill warm-up (throwing/cutting drills etc.)

How do I know if I am doing it right?

Sadly, you might not! While learning the warm-up, do not under-estimate the complexity and precision required to execute these movements to the best of your ability. After years of teaching movement skills and exercises, I can assure you that most people who think they’re doing it perfectly could actually benefit from further assessment and coaching. Not to mention that professionals themselves are continually learning, and advances in best-practice methods are significant in this relatively new field of research and practice.
I have the following tips:
1) Movements should be pain free at all times. Pushing through pain leads to abnormal movement patterns. Abnormal movement patterns are inefficient by definition, and usually lead to decreased performance and injury. Pain is a signal to you that something isn’t functioning well – listen to your body and do what you can to learn from it. While in some cases, rest may help, if pain always returns when activity increases you need to do more to understand the cause of the pain!
2) Breathing is critical – comfortable breathing is often your best indicator of the quality of your movement. If you notice breathing becomes more difficult, back off on your range of movement a bit, and work on the breathing itself – comfortable, deep breaths with slow exhales will help you to develop strength in your core and diaphragm, and with time your movement should improve.
3) Whenever possible get access to good coaching on your movement quality. A well trained physiotherapist or kinesiologist with significant expertise in sport and fitness conditioning can be a great help. But a video that a friend shoots of you can also give you great feedback! Do what’s right for you.

I’m a keener, tell me why these exercises?

There are many great exercises out there. The exercises I have chosen are based on an understanding of the injury patterns associated with the sport through my on-field experience and what I can glean from published literature on the sport. But beyond this, they’re designed to help multi-sport athletes as many athletes at both high-performance and recreational levels participate in other activities too (in fact, it’s a principle of long term athlete development that young athletes should not specialize in one sport too early).
If you want to know more, refer back to the three purposes this warm-up is designed to achieve. Reducing injury rates, improving functional movement, and activating key movement patterns that are critical to immediate and long-term performance.
My hope is that the efforts of progressive coaches, strength trainers, therapists, physios, chiros, doctors etc. will continue to progress and build upon what we know now. But more importantly, that we begin to better implement the best available resources that are already known. Don’t warm up like it’s the 1900′s!

This blows my mind… what else can you tell me about reaching my potential?

Well, if you haven’t already read Reach Your Potential, that’s where I’d suggest you start. It’s about the big picture of how you move toward reaching your physical potential, so if you look closely it will tell you where you need to focus.
Good luck, and please comment, share etc!

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About Travis Dodds

Travis is a registered physiotherapist in Vancouver, British Columbia. He splits his time three ways – working in the clinic, working onsite with teams and events, and working independently for professional development and producing resources such as this website! Travis’ goal is to provide the best available service to his clients. He is passionate about helping clients achieve great results in rehab, prehab, functional movement and performance.
InSync Physiotherapy is a multi-award winning health clinic helping you in Sports Injuries, Physiotherapy, Exercise Rehabilitation, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture & IMS.